The UK-based start-up and former Travolution award winner won the backing of senior industry figures when it raised £654,000 in seed funding
Family specialist virtual travel agent tripAbrood enters voluntary liquidation
UK-based start-up tripAbrood has ceased trading despite having secured seed round backing of senior industry figures for its virtual travel agent for families.
The early-stage OTA, which was considered to have potential to establish itself and won the 2020 Travolution Start-Up of the Year, stopped taking bookings just before Christmas.
Co-founder, former European head of analytics at Bloomberg Alexa-Maria Rathbone Barker, has started in a senior European sales role at online real estate specialist CoStar Group, according to a post on LinkedIn.
TripAbrood was founded in 2019 ahead of the COVID pandemic and remained in pre-revenue development phase during the international travel shut down.
During this period, it won widespread acclaim for responding to the pandemic by creating educational activity packs for school children as it built its database of potential clients.
After the pandemic, a beta of the firm’s bespoke AI-powered family travel assistant ‘Skye’ was launched and the company attracted an impressive stable of backers in a £654,000 seed funding round.
Investors included Ben Davey, former chief executive of Barclays Ventures, Vic Walia, former global vice president brand marketing at Expedia Group, Charles Petruccelli, former president of global travel services at American Express, Andy Mullinger and James Meekings, co-founders of Funding Circle, Will Keith, former VC and head of sales and origination at PrimaryBid and Michel Taride, former group president of Hertz International.
Ahead of an official launch in October in August 2020, tripAbrood appointed a head of growth and was the only travel brand named as a TechRound 100 finalist.
Daniel Tannenbaum, co-founder of TechRound said at the time: “TripAbrood’s concept demonstrates some real innovation in using AI with family travel to save people money and offer a more engaging user experience through the chatbots.
“There is no doubt that both holidaymakers and businesses operating in the space will benefit from using and working with tripAbrood.
“The start-up was chosen as a TechRound100 finalist as it ticked a lot of boxes for the judges and we are excited to see the company grow from strength-to-strength.”
TripAbrood declined an opportunity to give Travolution a comment on the decision to go into a member’s voluntary liquidation.
The B2C start-up launched in one of the most challenging economic environments for travel due to the pandemic and the looming post-COVID downturn in the UK and Europe.